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Cutting 3 inch PVC

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Forum topic by groygroy posted 12-07-2018 10:58 PM 844 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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groygroy

18 posts in 928 days


12-07-2018 10:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw blades pvc mill tool

Hey folks,

I find myself in need of many (80+) 2.5 inch lengths of PVC pipe for an on-site chainsaw mill. The PVC will be the feet / risers to elevate the saw as I slab the logs. I chose 3 inch PVC for weight and strength as I will be carrying everything into the woods. Did this a couple times using bricks and I don’t want to do that again.

I’m all set up to cut the PVC on the miter saw, and thought I would ask if anyone has experience with this. My worry is that PVC may be abrasive and wreck my wood cutting blades. I’ve swapped out my nice Freud blade for the factory blade that came with the saw, but I’m wondering if it would be best to go buy a cheap metal cutting blade to do this.

Any input is welcome. Thanks!


23 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1294 posts in 1362 days


#1 posted 12-07-2018 11:15 PM

See post #42 in this thread.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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groygroy

18 posts in 928 days


#2 posted 12-07-2018 11:21 PM



See post #42 in this thread.

- Ripper70

Thanks, that’s a really cool idea! I hate those black marks so much I’m about ready to replace all the black pipe in my clamps with galvanized. But, that’s not really my question. Trying to figure out if cutting a lot of PVC pipe is going to wear down my sawblades.

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

1169 posts in 2015 days


#3 posted 12-07-2018 11:26 PM

I use a cheap 80T thin kerf carbide. The blade will get gunked up from melted PVC so I only use the blade for PVC cutting.

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BFamous

320 posts in 574 days


#4 posted 12-07-2018 11:27 PM

Your blade should be fine for cutting pvc. It should have no more wear than cutting most woods. Though as it heats up from repeated use, it could start melting the pvc, creating build up on the blade

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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Ripper70

1294 posts in 1362 days


#5 posted 12-07-2018 11:56 PM

I agree that the blade should be fine. The takeaway from the post I linked to is that safety is the major concern. I can see how cutting a plastic tube could result in the occasional catch, resulting in a flying, cylindrical projectile. Wear eye protection and stand to one side, just to be sure.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Heyoka's profile

Heyoka

19 posts in 306 days


#6 posted 12-08-2018 12:59 AM

I cut PVC and ABS on the miter saw often with no observed any problems….

-- Heyoka

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TheFridge

10859 posts in 1940 days


#7 posted 12-08-2018 01:28 AM

It’ll be fine

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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EricTwice

248 posts in 987 days


#8 posted 12-08-2018 01:46 AM

If the PVC is heavy you can use any woodworking blade to cut it. (finer is better though)
If you are cutting something thin, Use one of the old steel blades. (not carbide) put the blade on backwards so the teeth are not cutting. It will buzz right through no problem.

It’s an old carpenter trick for cutting vinyl siding

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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groygroy

18 posts in 928 days


#9 posted 12-08-2018 02:48 AM


I agree that the blade should be fine. The takeaway from the post I linked to is that safety is the major concern. I can see how cutting a plastic tube could result in the occasional catch, resulting in a flying, cylindrical projectile. Wear eye protection and stand to one side, just to be sure.

- Ripper70

That’s a very good point. Thanks for mentioning it. I have a substantial respect for cutting anything not square on a chop saw.

My plan is to set up 4 tubes side by side for crosscut, bound with 1×8x3/4 inch plywood strips. I set a strip between every other cut, with a stop block that also holds from the top on the out feed side. Will be a big cut, but the goal is to not cut anything round.

May have some melting problems with such a long cut. I didn’t think of that. Gonna give it a try tomorrow. If I’m successful I’ll post a pic and some notes. If not, I’m gonna pretend this never happened… hah!

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groygroy

18 posts in 928 days


#10 posted 12-08-2018 02:52 AM



If the PVC is heavy you can use any woodworking blade to cut it. (finer is better though)
If you are cutting something thin, Use one of the old steel blades. (not carbide) put the blade on backwards so the teeth are not cutting. It will buzz right through no problem.

It s an old carpenter trick for cutting vinyl siding

- EricTwice

Nice suggestion. I’m cutting 3 inch pipes, so they should be heavy enough for the wood blade I think? Also not super worried about chipping. This does not need to look nice. Just want to do it safe and not damage a $150 blade. Thanks for the advice!

View rance's profile

rance

4271 posts in 3614 days


#11 posted 12-08-2018 03:16 AM

If you use your tools, they will eventually get dull. Don’t cut pvc, don’t cut wood, don’t cut copper pipe, maybe quit woodworking and send me your tools. TIC :)

Seriously, I cut wood, pvc, and copper pipe on the saw. I have see no degradation of any kind with non-wood.

Turning a blade around backwards is for cutting sheet metal, NOT pvc. You do that with pvc and you will have many problems, not to mention the melting instead of cutting. More teeth is better because of the thin walls of the pvc compared to a solid stick of wood. Go a little slower than with wood, but not too slow to begin melting it. You’ll quickly get the hang of it after 3-4 cuts.

I would cut one at a time, not the 4 at a time you suggest. You want to be able to grasp the 1 tube securely to keep it from rotating. I would be suspect of wrapping them between plywood and expecting that to securely hold ALL of them equally.

You will likely be using a stop block. Don’t leave it in place while making the cut or the pvc will become jammed between that and the blade when the cut is complete. I doubt that extreme precision is required so just mark a line on the saw and let that suffice for your repeatability.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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RDan

106 posts in 2778 days


#12 posted 12-08-2018 03:31 AM

I had this issue a while back. Started using my Sawsall with a metal cutting blade, used a wood miter box with a slot to keep it inline. You still need to deburr it some. Dan

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woodbutcherbynight

5967 posts in 2863 days


#13 posted 12-08-2018 04:36 AM

I cut PVC all the time with miter saw. Not a cheap blade but not a $200 version either. Never a problem and cuts wood, all kinds hard and soft well. Go slow, wear glasses and stand to the side as best is possible.

Recently used miter saw to cut all these pieces:

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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CaptainKlutz

1641 posts in 1948 days


#14 posted 12-08-2018 10:21 AM

I’ve cut up to 2.5 inch PVC on job site with a ratcheting knife cutter like this. Have a smaller one for pipe up to 1 1/4 inch too. Using something like that for 80 repetitive cuts on smaller pieces would be PIA.

Have used miter saw many times, works OK. Any blade works. But when making a massive number of cuts might buy a dedicated blade if care about cut finish quality? Want to use alternating TCG grind saw blade to reduce melting. Blades labeled non-ferrous metal cutting with TCG grind are $50 at HD. Forest blade will set you back $200+.
Suggest using full thickness blade for larger diameter pipe. Thin kerf blade has more flex, and since the pipe is open in middle; if you cut too fast in your repetitive boredom, it can sometimes cut a wavy edge if that matters for you. DAMHIK

For cutting short pieces of PVC, like to use band saw when piece fits inside saw throat. Use any 3-4 TPI blade and it cuts as fast as you feed it with zero melting. Band saw will not ‘catch’ a small piece of pipe & throw it 20 feet like miter saw. :)

One last note with cutting plastic pipe. Static electricity will have plastic scarf stuck to everything. So unless you want 10 ft circle around your saw filled with white plastic dust with bad tendency towards static cling, use a dust collection system.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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EricTwice

248 posts in 987 days


#15 posted 12-08-2018 12:20 PM


Turning a blade around backwards is for cutting sheet metal, NOT pvc.

- rance

I have used it extensively for thin plastic. (PVC, Vinyl, and many other thin sheet plastics) I have never heard of it being used for sheet metal. I usually stick them on a back up board. I will give it a go and see if I like it…thanks

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

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